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Work starts on Woodford youth detention centre

February 28, 2024 9:46 am in by

Construction has started on a new 80 bed youth detention centre at Woodford.

Lead contractor BESIX Watpac has been appointed for stage one of the design and construction, with the sod turning kicking off the enabling works.

Major construction will follow, with the centre expected to be complete by late 2026.

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A site within the Woodford Correctional Precinct was announced as the preferred location in May 2023.

With a projected construction cost of up to $627.61 million, the centre will include therapeutic design elements aimed at supporting the rehabilitation of young people and improving community safety.

These include smaller, more home-like accommodation units; consultation and treatment rooms; multi-purpose spaces for education, skills development, and training; as well as areas for physical activity, green spaces, and spaces for cultural connection.

The government is working with stakeholders including First Nations groups in service delivery design.

The design of the centre also considers and incorporates First Nations knowledge and culture, with the Jinibara People Aboriginal Corporation providing guidance and expertise on important elements including spaces for community, cultural connection, gardens, green spaces, vegetation, landscaping and wayfinding.

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The Government is also progressing the construction of a 40-bed facility near Cairns and a youth remand facility at Wacol.

The new Youth Detention Centre at Woodford, plus the proposed new 40-bed centre near Cairns, forecast to be operational in 2027, will add 120 beds to the state’s youth detention capacity.

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